Men who are recent immigrants and over qualified for their jobs are more than three times as likely to sustain an injury at work as their appropriately qualified peers who have been in the country for some time, suggests Canadian research published online in Injury Prevention.
In Canada, in 2008, one in four employees between the ages of 25 and 54 was overqualified for the job they were doing, figures indicate.
The researchers drew on almost 63,500 responses to the representative household Canadian Community Health Surveys of 2003 and 2005 to look at the relationship between being overqualified for a job and the risk of sustaining an injury at work.
They also looked at the impact of recent immigrant status. Only adults aged 25 and older, and who had been employed at some point over the preceding 12 months were included in the study.
Having an educational level that exceeded the requirements of the job was associated with a higher risk of work injury for both men and women, but after taking account of the demands of the job this association held true only for men and only for repetitive strain injury.
When immigrant status was considered separately, men who had recently immigrated and who were overqualified for their job role were more than five times as likely to sustain a work injury that required medical attention as those who were not overqualified and who had been in the country for some time.
After taking account of physical job demands, recent immigrants who were overqualified for their job role were still more than three times as likely to sustain an injury at work.
No such associations were evident among women.